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7. Small-scale fishery along the Andaman Sea coast

According to the calculations made in Chapter 5.9. the 15765 fishery households along the Andaman coast generated about Bt383 million, or US$14.7 million, per year in 1995 and 1996. Compared with total marine fishery production of about US$1.4 billion in each of those years, small-scale fishery along the Andaman coast generates only 1 percent of the total value.

The total catch along the Andaman coast for the three types of gear is presented in Table 36. According to FAO statistics, the catch varied between 0.7 percent for the mackerel gillnet and 14 percent for the crab bottom gillnet, and the trammel net caught about 5 percent of the total catch of Thailand.

For this study, only the catch from the main fishing gear types was examined in each household; in fact, the total catch in each household was higher than could be assessed. Besides, most of the small-scale catch is not covered by the FAO statistics, which therefore underestimate the total catch of Thailand. It seems realistic to assume that some five percent of the total catch along the Andaman coast - as shown for the trammel net, the most common small-scale fishing gear - is caught through small-scale fishery, which means in turn that the five-percent commercial fishermen catch about 95 percent of all fish. This clearly shows the need for further fishery management plans if small-scale fishermen along the Andaman coast are to keep their occupation.

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